Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wonderfull Illustrations of Simone Jessup

I stumbled across these illustrations by Simone Jessup today. I think they are absolutely gorgeous - especially the bird one. Each one of her illustrations are different, and I highly recommend visiting her website.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Newest Collage

"Poems by a Little Girl"

This is the project I've been working on for the last two weeks. After being unhappy with my initial version, I was reluctant to start over after so much hard work. But I'm glad I did, because this version was much more successful in my opinion. If you'd like to inquire about prints, you can in the comment section of this post, or by contacting me in my etsy shop at http://www.trublue.etsy.com/ Generally, prints in my shop are priced as follows:
4x6 .................$8
I can also do special orders prints on canvas or watercolor paper. Pricing for this extra service depends on each individual order.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm featured today on L.M. GLAM's Blog

You really must check out her blog. You can see her amazing work there, as well as the work of other featured sellers. You can even have a chance to win some of it! Check it out at http://www.lmglam.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Treasury Made the Front Page of Etsy!!!

Unfortunately I missed it! Since I already spend way to much time on there, I decided I would take a break yesterday so that I could attend to some of the other neglected areas of my life. And what happens? My treasury makes the front page. The one day I'm not on etsy and the thing I want most to happen happens. Still you've got to laugh. I'm happy just knowing it made it anyway. But I'd be alot happier if I could find a screen shot of it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tips on How to be More Earth Conscious with Your Packing and Gift Wrapping

I received something in the mail yesterday from ebay, and I found the seller's choice in packaging very disturbing. The item itself was about 3" long, and weighed no more that a few ounces. Yet it came wrapped up in a wad of bubble wrap the size of a grapefruit. This in turn was surrounded by a hefty amount of packing paper, and the whole thing was in a big box.

When I see things like that, it makes me wonder what the seller was thinking. I figure it can only be one of two things: either they don't know any eco-friendly was to package items, or they do, but just don't care. While I can't help with the latter, I can certain provide people with a few tips on how to wrap and package items effectively, while minimizing its impact on the earth. Here are some tips for a greener way to wrap and send your delicates.

1. Get Creative With Your Wrapping Paper:

  • I found that recycled brown paper makes a very simple and beautiful wrapping paper. It is especially beautiful if you finish with a nice silk ribbon (the brown really offsets the colors) or some sort of natural touch, such as a sea shell or some small flowers. You know that ever-growing collection of brown paper grocery bags that you hate to throw out, but never seem to have a use for? Now you can finally put them to good use, by using their reverse side (the side without the print).

  • Newspaper is a great alternative to informal wrapping jobs. However, if you need something a little fancier, use pages of book print. Now before you go cutting up perfectly good books, I suggest finding ones at thrift stores or yard sales that already have some damage to them. I was able to find several old books that had been in a flood and had severe water damage. While many of the pages were ruined, a great deal of them were perfectly intact and salvageable. You can leave the book print white, or give it a quick antique look by soaking the page in tea or coffee, then drying them under a heavy item (this prevents the paper from wrinkling as it dries).

2. Lose the Styrofoam Packing Peanuts!
Try these ideas instead:

  • Use the cast offs from your paper shredder as filler to your packages.

  • Use your left over plastic grocery bags to pack delicate items in.

  • Get creative with egg cartons! They are great for protecting a large array of items.

  • Save and boxes or bubble envelopes that you receive in the mail and re-use them

  • Take advantage of Cornstarch Packing peanuts. They are truly the best. They are made of 100% cornstarch, so they are edible (although I wouldn't recommend it). They dissolve completely in water and leave no toxic waste behind. These packing peanuts were originally created with the intention of being a breakfast cereal, but because of it's poor taste, it was re-purposed as a packing material. You can buy these from almost any moving company, or on the web. For a recipe and directions on how to make your own cornstarch packing peanuts, click here.

3. A Few Last Things to Remember:

  • Ship early to avoid having to ship by air. Energy costs for sending a package for next day delivery are four times higher than the cost of ground shipping. So try to use ground shipping whenever possible.

  • Make sure you use enough material to protect and secure your item, but don't go overboard. Use only what you need.

Now your on your way to greener packaging! Keep up the good work, and thank you for your interest in staying green.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Eco Friendly Featured Artist: Unconventionalida

She has Always Loved the Trees

Today's featured artist is Unconventionalida. I saw her work and was instantly charmed by her unique style and unforgetable characters. There is a sweetness and warmth to each of her paintings, along with a touch of meloncholy. Unconventionalida sells both originals and prints, with a price range to fit any budget. All of her paintings are done on recycled wood.

Here's what she says about her work:
"I whole heartedly LOVE every character that comes out of my pen. Everything is a magnificent choice for me..the type of wood I will use, the grain, a male or female, old or young...The wood that I use is "rescued" from a cabinet shop in the Bitterroot Mountains.*I can't bear to see lovely wood burned just because it isn't large enough*"

The Queer Little House on the Hill

The Lollipop Forest in Blue

You can visit her shop at http://www.unconventionalida.etsy.com/

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Featured Collage/Photomontage Artists

"Encounters of the mind"
Click here to view this collage in my shop
I decided to bring some of my collages out of retirement, and sell prints of them in my shop. In honor of this, I decided to focus today's blog on collage. So I hit the web to discover other collage artists out there. There are many different styles of collage existing, but I noticed that I tend to be drawn to similiar types. Here are a few pieces that struck my attention for one reason or another

"The Jack of all Trades" by Mister "Michael David Jerome Hoffmann Koppa" (as he calls himself)

"The Pathway Home" - by Kim Birdsong

"Given" - by David Wallace

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eco Friendly Featured Artist: Infusion

Half Moon Sling - made from reclaimed cotton and ripstop

Todays featured artist is Infusion, who creates her work from beautiful recycled, natural fabrics. Using such materials as organic hemp, linen, cotton, silk, wool and kapok, Infusion's pieces not only look and feel great, they also come with peace of mind. And with prices compareable to that of traditional fabrics, you can't go wrong.

Here's what she has to say:

"Here at infusion, we are all about Life. There is a new focus needed. Let's work toward sustaining Life. Infusion products are made with reclaimed, recycled, organic and sustainable fibers and fabrics. We love to emphasize what is natural, reduce the toxic load, and lighten our footstep on the earth..."

You can visit her shop at http://www.infusion.etsy.com/

Hemp Tote - Made from 100% Organic Romanian Hemp

Herbal Infusion Pillows - made of reclaimed raw silk, and organic hemp. Filled with Sage and Lavendar.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Vintage Button Bobbies

I am in love with these. They make me think of lazy summers and old fashioned romance. I have a few pairs that I've had forever, but decided to make a new batch for fun. So I pulled out my stash of vintage buttons that I snagged from my grandmother (isn't it just great when grandmothers clean out their closets?) and I set to work. Who says bobby pins are just for girls? We women can still pull them off in a fun flirty way, and I excercise my right to do so! These are available now for purchase http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10704531

Monday, March 31, 2008

Vintage Sin Ring

I've got a new batch of rings and accessories coming out within the next two weeks. This is the first in line, and it is up for sale right now in my shop. The text is from an actual advertisement in 1941. How cool is that? I love looking through old magazines, they are so much fun. I found a big batch of old magazines at an estate sale. Unfortunately, many of them had water damage - which is a shame. But the plus side is that I felt fine about cutting them up since they were already damaged. Estate sales really are the best.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Yesterday I was featured on Celeste Jean's blog at http://cjswoodlandshed.blogspot.com/
Check it out! There are all sorts of interesting artist's being featured there.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Recycled Art

I'm always inspired by what other artists can create out of recycled items. Here are a few featured pieces that I found interesting.

Linda Raynsford made this sculpture, titled "Link," out of discarded painted metal, tool boxes, cabinets, and car parts.

This amazing sculpture, titled "Earth Tear" by Marta Thoma is made out of steel rebar and recycled plastic vodka bottles!

Artist John T. Unger uses recycled steel to create these goregous fire pits.

Photo by Bob Easton

This entire gown is made out of plastic bags!!! Artist Jayne Ottesen used knitted, ironed and sewn plastic grocery bags to create this gown.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finds of the day

Bubble World Wall Art by Emma Florence Harrison $24.99

I fell in love with a new website called ModCloth. I came across it this afternoon and ended up browsing for a full hour! Thankfully I was able to justify it because I had just the entire morning cleaning my house ;)

Here are some of my favorite things I stumbled across (they had clothing too, but that will have to be different post!):
These Nature Cute Mini Mirrors are too cute resist - especially at $6.99 each.

I instantly fell in love with this Just My Type Necklace by Tilly Boom $27.99

I was just looking at a pair of these in a thrift store. Perfect for adding 50's flare to your kitchen. Retro Napkin Holder, $11.99 each.

Music Lover Pillow Cases $24.99

Monday, March 24, 2008

New re-created necklace series

I have started a new series of necklaces using the process of re-creation and assemblage. The idea was born this weekend while visiting some yard sales and thrift stores. I kept seeing all these interesting old bits of jewelry and hardware, and it seemed such a waste for them to be unloved and tossed away. There's nothing I love more than seeing potential in items that others might pass by. So I collected various odds and ends that caught my eye, and came back to my work table to re-invent them into new treasures. I have alot that are still in progress, but here are two that I finished earlier. As always, I had a blast. These will be up for sale in my etsy shop by the end of this week (I just need to take some decent photos of them first).

Friday, March 21, 2008

DIY antique tray

This is a fun, easy project using an old serving tray, some paint and some images. For this project I used old wine / liquor labels, but you can use anything from old fruit labels, poster prints or photos.

Start with a plain serving tray. You can pick one up at a thrift store, flea market or yard sale (you can also find new ones for cheap at your local arts and craft store).

Step 1 - Paint the tray

If your serving tray has old paint on it, it can work for or against you. If the old paint is in bad shape, or just ugly, simply give it a quick sanding and a nice fresh layer of paint. If the paint is in decent enough shape, you can add a top coat of new paint (your color choice) over it, then distress it with sand paper so the old paint is showing through. It's especially helpful to do this on the corners and edges where the piece would naturally wear down sooner.

Step 2 - Getting your labels ready

Once you have the background color, you will need to add old wine / liquor labels. You can get these from your own collection, or by printing them off the web (I've added a link to a nice source for these at the bottom of this post). If you labels / images are too white and 'new' looking, you can give them a nice aged yellowed look by dipping them in soy sauce. This is a very effective staining method I stumbled across a while ago. But in this case less is more. A simple dip to coat both sides is good, no more is needed. Do not soak the image, because it will become dingy brown and just look dirty. When the labels are dry, they are ready for attatching.

Step 3 - Attatch your labels

To attatch your labels or images, simply use "Modge Pogde" (again, available at any craft store). Coat the backs of the images and attatch them to the tray, making sure you get all the air bubbles out. Then coat the top of the images of few times to make sure they are permanently affixed to the tray. Let dry. Serve some nice snacks or refreshments on your new tray and impress your guests with your creativity!

The following website has a great collection of printable vintage images!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trying my hand at jewelry

Click here to see this vintage inspired necklace in the shop

There are so many jewelry sellers on Etsy right now, I felt discouraged from making any. But then I decided it didn't matter. I was making it because it was fun, not because it mattered whether it sold or not. It just so happened that I had today off. So I sat down, spread my supplies out and did some serious jewelry making! I have to say, it was a blast. I'll put them up in the shop and see how they do, but I'm not too worried about it. I had a great time and that's all that matters. I've also been experimenting in metal work. I made a really cool sterling silver fork ring today.

Antique fork ring

Monday, March 17, 2008

What's new in my shop?

I recently organized my sewing box, and decided that my measuring tape needed a little vamping up. I decopaged a nice vintage image onto my measuring tape container, then painted the edges for a nice finshing touch. It came out so cute I decided to make more and sell them in the shop. Thus my "retrospects" accessories were born. I will be listing different ones as the week progresses. I can make the borders in any custom color you want, so let me know if you have any special requests. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thank you Eco Etsy!

Eco Etsy had a treasure hunt today in honor of st. patricks day. I participated this morning and won this awesome coffee cup cozy!! I did it for fun because I like browsing people's shops to see what they have. I never expected to win anything, but I'm so thrilled that I did! I'm a big fan of minimizing my impact on the planet, and now when I have my coffee or tea in the morning, I don't have to use one of those cardboard cozies. I can save them and bring my own! If you're interested in purchasing one, you can check out more from http://www.shutterkate.com/

Saturday, March 15, 2008

spring pillows

Maggie Pace is the founder of Pick Up Sticks, an Oakland-based company that produces gift-friendly kits with patterns and yarn to make home and fashion accessories. This Plum Blossom pillow is so adorable, I'm tempted to get into some comfy pj's, throw on a movie and start making my own! It's a really simple design, yet very eye catching. It would be easy to come up with your own design and make one. Or, for those of you that are craft-challenged, or just want to relax and not think about it, Pick Up Sticks offers a kit for this pillow (and many other projects!). The kit for this Plum Blossom Pillow is $32, needles and pillow form not included.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Projects for Spring: Give your lamp a makeover.

Now that spring is on the way, you'll probably be wanting to make some color changes around the home to lighten things up. Rather than go out and buy lighter colored accessories to make your home more bright and cheery, there are some easy ways to re-invent what you already have. I will be posting different projects on different days. Todays project will be simple ways to re-invent your lamp shade. Get a whole new look without having to buy a new one. These were taken from Better Homes and Garden.

1. Give it a paper or Fabric makeover. Covering your lamp with paper is an easy, inexpensive and effective way to quickly make a new lamp shade. Trace the top and bottom of the shade by rolling it on wrapping paper, allowing extra to fold ends. Cut. Use cut paper as a pattern for a second piece if needed. Place paper on shade, aligning patterns. Fold ends, securing seams with double-sided tape. Glue ribbon on top and bottom. (The same technique can be used with fabric, but instead of double sided tape, attatch the fabric with spray adhesive.)

2. Use stick ons. This fabulous 10-minute embellishment is as easy as peel and stick. You can use just about any self-adhesive sticker, but we recommend these repositionable vinyl-coated die-cut ones from wallies.com ($12 for two sheets) to decorate the outside or inside of a shade.

3. Dress up the inside. A hint of color and pattern is an eye-catching touch on the inside of a shade, especially for hanging lamps. Make a pattern by tracing the shape of your lampshade onto paper, allowing enough to overlap ends. Cut fabric using the pattern, coat the wrong side with spray adhesive, and carefully adhere the fabric to the inside of the shade. If you have difficulty controlling the fabric as you work, first back it with paper to stiffen it, then use adhesive to attach the paper side to the shade. Glue bias tape along the top and bottom edges to give the lining a finished look.

4.Lovely Doodle Designs
To create this fun shade, start at the seam with a black opaque paint marker, draw evenly spaced vertical lines for different numbers and sizes of circles. Every fifth row draw a series of single circles; connect the circles with loose, squiggly lines. Then apply the lighter color paint first, let dry. Next, paint the darker circles.

5. Wrap It with Ribbon
Ribbon wrapped around a plain paper shade creates the look of pleated silk. To keep this project affordable, we hit the clearance bin and found four 8-yard ribbon spools for $2.45 each. Use fabric tape to secure a ribbon end (and subsequent ends) to the inside of the shade. Wind ribbon around the shade, overlapping more at the top than at the bottom if using a tapered shade.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Old Picture Of The Day - Featured Blog

I stumbled across this blog randomly, and I think it is worth noting! If you're like me and you find old photographs facinating as well as beautiful, then this is the site for you! This blog features one vintage photograph a day, and they are all spectacular. I have attatched the link below. Careful though! It's easy to get sucked into viewing these gems from the past. I killed about thirty minutes this morning over coffee just browsing through the archives :) It also inspired me to go through my own box of vintage photos. The ones you see above are from my collection.

You can find today's featured blog at: